Formosa - RBL 79 [c.1904-1941]

Submitted by annelisec on Mon, 02/01/2010 - 21:35
Current condition
Demolished / No longer exists
Date completed
(Day, Month, & Year are approximate.)
Date closed / demolished

"Formosa" was occupied by Dr. F. O. Stedman during 1915 who had assisted Dr. James Cantlie, a prominent local doctor, philanthropist and specialist in tropical diseases, to found the Peak Hospital in 1890.

After Dr. Cantlie's departure from the colony in 1896, Dr. Stedman and two partners Drs. Hartigan and Rennie continued to administer the hospital as a private hospital.

In 1906 a company was formed to continue it with the original three partners and four other doctors as shareholders.

In 1922 the company was disolved and the hospital was (leased to goverment) continued under the ownership of a Mr. J. E. Joseph.

Between 1932 and 1933 the hospital was closed and converted into flats called "Victoria Ridge".

I am assuming that the buildings were destroyed in the war. 

Photos that show this Place


I think the date of Formosa's construction was earlier than 1915 given above. The 1909 map at already refers to the site as Formosa, 20 The Peak. Perhaps the reference to 1915 in the document above was referring to Dr Stedman moving into Formosa, rather than the completion date of the building. At the page for Peak Hospital ( it mentions that the site, I presume RBL 79, for both Peak Hospital and Formosa was purchased in 1898. If so construction would have been sometime between 1898 and 1909.

Hi David

I've stumbled across your photos of "Formosa" on the Peak, while researching my Grandmother's history.  She was born on the Peak in December 1912, and her birth certificate shows her father's address as "Formosa".  Her father, Ernest Thomas Williams, was posted to Hong Kong as an Engineer with the British Admiralty (I believe at quite a senior rank - he was later awarded an OBE).  

We have photos of my grandmother and great grandmother inside their house which my grandmother always told me was on the Peak.  

I see from your records that one of the local doctors moved into Formosa in 1915, which was the around the time the Williams family returned to the UK.

Is there any way of researching property records for Hong Kong at that stage to show who was living in the house?  I have tried to track down Admiralty Records to find out more about my great grandparents time in Hong Kong and confirm the address, but without much success on line.

I am likely to be in Hong Kong later this year, so am wondering whether there's a records office or somewhere else that I could access easily to find records of their time there.

Any help or thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

Best wishes


Hi Sophie,

A search for Formosa on Gwulo finds a couple of mentions. The Jurors Lists for 1904 and 1905 has this entry:

s Scott Charles Robert Manager International Banking Corporation   Formosa     The Peak

There's a mention in the 1907 Ladies Directory, but the text is incomplete so we can't see who was living there.

Then the 1919 Ladies Directory has this entry:

Harston Mrs. G. M.   Formosa 22   The Peak

You could see if the Public Records Office has copies of the Ladies Directory for the years you are interested in.

While there you could also look at Rate Books to see if they give any clues.

Some more ideas for sources:

Good luck. Please update us as you find out more, and if you have any photos of HK from that time we'd love to see them.